January 11, 2001
Detroit auto show:
All-American Cunningham C7 challenges Europe’s best
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In 1950, Briggs Cunningham II took his Chrysler hemi-powered Cunningham race car to Le Mans to challenge Europe’s best racers. In the following decade, his American-built racers had a string of successes in U.S. road racing.
41 years later, Briggs Cunningham III is introducing an all-new Cunningham C7, a made-in-America grand touring automobile with a 500 horsepower V12 engine and a price tag expected to be around U.S. $250,000.
“Why should someone who wants to purchase a truly prestigious automobile, something unique, have to turn to a European marque,” asked Robert Lutz, an investor in the firm and former President of Chrysler Corporation. “The Cunningham name is synonymous with American and automotive excellence,
the perfect combination for this project.”
Cunningham does not have an assembly plant. The car will be built by a group of American suppliers to save costs.
“We will tap into the extremely rich vein of independent automotive
talent, from designers to chassis developers to fabricators to manufacturers,
available around the United States, from metropolitan Detroit to Southern
California,” said Cunningham President and Chief Executive Officer, John C. McCormack.
“We believe we can develop the Cunningham for less than Chrysler spent
developing the Viper,” said McCormack. “And one of our founders and advisors,
one of the fathers of the Viper, Bob Lutz, knows all about this type of